The first Test between England and Sri Lanka is scheduled to be played at the Galle International Cricket Stadium, starting this Thursday.
International cricket is back in Sri Lanka, with the hosts looking to get over their loss against South Africa earlier this month. Despite being riddled with injury concerns, Sri Lanka were able to show glimpses of their potential with the duo of Dasun Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga impressing with bat and ball.
With the return of Angelo Mathews and Suranga Lakmal to the fold, the Sri Lankans will be eyeing a return to winnings although they are in for a tough test in the form of the Englishmen.
England will take confidence from their last tour in Sri Lanka, during which they ended up winning the Test series. Although they have rested Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer for this series, England have enough firepower in their roster to compete against the threat that Sri Lanka pose in home conditions. With a good blend of youth and experience, England will eye a winning start to their time in the subcontinent.
Both teams look evenly matched on paper, although Sri Lanka's spinners could prove to be the difference. Nevertheless, a very competitive game of Test cricket beckons in Galle with the sides looking to get a decisive win in this two-match series.
Squads to choose from
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Minod Bhanuka, Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Santhush Gunathilake, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Dilshan Madushanka, Angelo Mathews, Dilruwan Perera, Kasun Rajitha, Dasun Shanaka, Lahiru Thirimanne
Joe Root (C), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Predicted Playing 11
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera, Kusam Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Lahiru Kumara/Vishwa Fernando and Suranga Lakmal
Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (C), Daniel Lawrence, Jos Buttler (WK), Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad and James Anderson
Match: Sri Lanka vs England, 1st Test
Date: 14th January 2020, at 10:00 AM IST
Venue: Galle International Stadium, Galle
As is the case with most pitches in Sri Lanka, spin will play a crucial role with either side pondering a spin-heavy attack ahead of this fixture. While there will be some swing on offer early on, the spinners should get the ball to turn off the surface, keeping the batsmen in check.
The batsmen could benefit from taking a cautious approach against the spinners, although it could go either way. Neither side would be too keen on batting on Day 4 or Day 5, which may force their hand into batting first upon winning the toss.
SL vs ENG 1st Test Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, Joe Root, Zak Crawley, Dilruwan Perera, Sam Curran, Wanindu Hasaranga, Jack Leach, James Anderson and Suranga Lakmal
Captain: Dilruwan Perera, Vice-Captain: Joe Root
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Dilruwan Perera, Sam Curran, Wanindu Hasaranga, Jack Leach, Dom Bess and Suranga Lakmal
Captain: Joe Root, Vice-Captain: Wanindu HasarangaPublished 13 Jan 2021, 15:00 IST